The National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) on Saturday approved international travel for South Africans working and studying abroad.
The country’s borders were closed with all international flights halted in an attempt to curb the spread of COVID-19.
But in a statement on Saturday, the Department of Home Affairs said South Africans would be permitted to leave the country for work, study, family reunions, to take up permanent residency, or to receive medical treatment.
“The Minister of Home Affairs, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi has, following consultations with the Department of International Relations and Cooperation and the NCCC, approved essential travel for South Africans who want to return to countries where they are based,” the department said.
South Africans who wanted to travel for these reasons would be required to produce a letter from the embassy where they were headed, confirming the reason for their journey.
List of requirements:
- A copy of their valid South African passport.
- A letter confirming their admissibility under the current circumstances from the embassy or other diplomatic/consular representative of the country they want to travel to. If returning by road or connecting via flights, the proof submitted needs to include permission from each transiting country.
- Proof of means of travel such as air or bus tickets and the intended date of departure.
The Department of Home Affairs said citizens who fell in these categories and satisfied the criteria could send an email to Covid19travel@dha.gov.za.
An email would be sent to travellers who met the criteria to enable them to proceed with their travel arrangements.
According to the department, people applying as a group could send one email with the supporting documents for each member of the group.